City v Country: Queensland's best rugby league players. Pictured are Thurston and Langer.
City v Country: Queensland's best rugby league players. Pictured are Thurston and Langer.

Qld Country v City Origin: Vote on who’d win!

Who would win a Queensland Country versus Brisbane City State of Origin rugby league match?

You look at the teams below and vote on who you think is the better player in each position.

It will be Lewis versus Lockyer, Thurston opposing Alfie Langer, Petero versus Webcke and Lindner up against Matt Gillett etc.

The Country v City concept is a fiercely contest, time-honoured tradition.

But who has the better pool of players?

Country have long argued they are the premier breeding ground of rugby league.

Even before the State of Origin concept in 1980, country had champion that were never seen in Brisbane like bush legends Vern and Frank Daisy, Marshall Colwell and Test player Greg Platz who is lauded by retired veteran writer Steve Ricketts

Rohan Hancock (Killarney), Kerry Boustead (Innisfail) and Allan Smith (Toowoomba), all members of Queensland's inaugural Origin team, never played in Brisbane.

That Granite Belt-southern Darling Downs region from which Rohan Hancock came out of also produced Broncos winger great Michael Hancock, the legendary Billy Moore and Manly's Matt Ballin.

And one of the finest country players never seen in the City, Stanthorpe backrower Rob Reeves, was named Toowoomba player of the year in the same season which saw him score a remarkable eight tries against Gatton - while giving the pass for his team's ninth's try.

Former Brisbane Broncos recruitment ace, the later Cyril Connell, drove many a country mile to sign elite country talent for the club.

But Connell did not have to go far to find city-based Broncos' champions like Darren Smith, Lote Tuqiri, Israel Folua, Tonie Carroll and Petero Civoniceva

So if you lined up Country versus City up, who'd win?

FULLBACKS

 

Billy Slater.
Billy Slater.

 

Gary Belcher.. Photo by Richard Gosling
Gary Belcher.. Photo by Richard Gosling

Country:

B illy Slater (Innisfail)

The thing to admire about Slater most is that he was self made. After being invited to a trial with Brisbane Norths at a moments notice, Slater drove overnight from FNQ to Bishop Park on a wing and a prayer. Deserved every success. Aside from obvious skill level, his positional play in defence was uncanny.

 

City:

Gary Belcher, (Souths)

Beautiful mover who glided when he moved. Great under the high ball and once won an origin series for Queensland with an ankle tackle on NSW No. 6 Cliff Lyons (198). The best fullback in Australia of his era and a multiple premiership winner with Canberra, as well as winning a title with his junior club, Souths Magpies.

Who is your best fullback?

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WINGERS

 

Kerry Boustead.
Kerry Boustead.

 

Dale Shearer in action.
Dale Shearer in action.

Country:

Kerry Boustead (Innisfail)

A champion in Queensland's early Origin success when he was, at the time, the best winger in the world. Great pace, great finisher and fantastic low tackling technique.

 

Dale Shearer (Sarina)

The Rolls Royce of outside backs who just purred when he hit near top pace. Effortless mover and skilled enough to play fullback, centre or even five-eight with ease. One of the greats.

 

 

Israel Folau.
Israel Folau.

 

Lote Tuqiri.
Lote Tuqiri.

City:

Israel Folau (Logan)

Queensland rugby league sadly did not see enough of Folau who was lured to Australian football by a financial offer too good to refuse. But we saw enough of him to earn selection in this company.

 

Lote Tuqiri (Souths Woodridge)

An easy choice as the City winger. Grew up in the Runcorn district, although his first club was Souths Woodridge. A winger with all the skills who won premierships at the Broncos and South Sydney - and in between had a decorated career with the Wallabies. A nice man from a wonderful Fijian family.

Vote on the best of these wingers

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CENTRES

 

 

Gene Miles.
Gene Miles.

 

Mal Meninga. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Mal Meninga. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Country:

Gene Miles (Townsville).

Raw power. The most underrated great in Queensland rugby league. Younger folk should realise he was the best centre in the world, then moved to second row late in his career and was the best second rower in the world.

 

Mal Meninga (Wide Bay)

Words hardly describe the career of Meninga. A powerhouse centre, inspiring captain and, like the true champions, a winner.

 

 

Greg Inglis. Picture: Brett Costello
Greg Inglis. Picture: Brett Costello

 

Darren Smith
Darren Smith

City:

Greg Inglis (Norths Brisbane)

Would be City's answer to Miles and Meninga. A mix of both those country champions and should be an immortal down the track. If you picked Queensland's greatest ever side, you'd find room for all three - Miles, Meninga and Inglis - across the centres and wing positions.

 

Darren Smith (Souths Woodridge, Easts)

A true champion who had the distinction of playing more than a 100 games for Canterbury and Brisbane - and winning premierships at both. Could play centre or backrow with ease. Never far off a "greatest ever team'' selection in any of the sides he played with.

Vote on the best centres

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FIVE-EIGHTS

 

Darren Lockyer. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
Darren Lockyer. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

 

Wally Lewis.
Wally Lewis.

Country:

Darren Lockyer (Wandoan)

Broncos recruitment ace Darren Lockyer will never forget the first time he laid eyes on Lockyer. He was this skinny kid who was as smooth as silk when he ran. Like all great champions in the making, Lockyer also had time when he carried the ball. The younger generation will forget he was the world's best fullback before switching to No. 6 where he become the world's best five-eight.

 

City:

Wally Lewis (Cannon Hill)

The Emperor of Lang Park, The King. Simply the best. His leadership on Origin night was inspiring in an era where Queensland needed a hero coming off a brave, but losing effort in interstate football of the 1970s. Lewis was that hero - in spades.

Vote on the best five-eight

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HALFBACKS

 

Allan Langer.
Allan Langer.

 

Johnathan Thurston. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Johnathan Thurston. Picture: Alix Sweeney

Country

Allan Langer (Ipswich)

A great winner, a great player and a great bloke. Everyone loves Alfie and his deeds for the Broncos in the 1990s were truly extraordinary. A fairytale Origin finale capped his career.

 

City:

Johnathan Thurston (Souths Sunnybank)

The greatest week to week competitor I have seen. Always, always in the game. It is a blanket finish between Thurston, Smith and Lewis as to who is the greatest. Say no more. This bloke is a legend. Although he did his late secondary schooling at St Mary's Toowoomba, his origin is southern Brisbane.

Vote on your best halfback

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LOCKS

 

Matt Gillett.
Matt Gillett.

 

Bob Lindner
Bob Lindner

Country:

Matt Gillett (Bribie Island)

Champion backrower with all the skills. Fantastic running and passing game, yet hit like a truck in defence. Bradley Clyde is rightly lauded as a NSW champion but this bloke was not far behind him.

 

City:

Bob Lindner (Brisbane)

One of the greats. Like Gillett, he had a powerhouse running game and a high work rate in defence. Would do anything for Queensland on Origin night and he did - he played four minutes with a broken leg because he did not want Queensland to finish a match with 12 men. Finally he collapsed on his face and his reward for such a brave effort was to see Queensland hang on for a series win.

Vote on the locks

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SECOND ROWERS

 

Gorden Tallis.
Gorden Tallis.

 

Rod Reddy aka 'Rocket' Reddy.
Rod Reddy aka 'Rocket' Reddy.

Country

Gorden Tallis (Townsville)

Rampaging Tallis was enormous for Queensland and the Broncos. Magnificent runner of the ball and feared defender. A true great.

 

Rod Reddy (Rockhampton)

The younger generation will be surprised by this choice but Reddy is a great. His only game for Queensland was in Origin No. 1, 1980, when he was selected from St George to add experience. Could score tries from 50m out or ball-play at the line. The complete second rower who played 17 Tests, won two premierships and went on two Kangaroo tours.

 

Trevor Gillmeister on the charge.
Trevor Gillmeister on the charge.

 

David Fifita. Pic Adam Head
David Fifita. Pic Adam Head

City:

Trevor Gillmeister (Norths Brisbane)

Gillmeister had the heart the size of Tasmania with an iron will to match. For a small forward, he used his height to advantage to get under the rib cage of grizzly opponents. Queensland legend.

 

David Fifta (Souths Acacia Ridge)

Explosive modern day backrower who has it all. Queensland are blessed to have him at a time when the state is recovering from the loss of Smith, Inglis, Cronk and Slater. Sensational talent.

Vote on the best second rowers

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PROPS

Shane Webcke.

Artie Beetson on the night of Origin No.1
Artie Beetson on the night of Origin No.1

Country

Shane Webcke (Leyburn)

Tough as teak, mobile front rower who played expertly within his limitations. Remarkable motor.

 

Artie Beetson (Roma)

The God Father of Queensland State of Origin. After 15 seasons in Sydney Beetson led Queensland to victory in Origin No. 1 - and then coached the side. Bashful champion. Amazing pace and ball skills in his prime.

 

Josh Papalii.
Josh Papalii.

 

Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee Petero Civoniceva.
Rugby League Hall of Fame inductee Petero Civoniceva.

City

Josh Papalii (Logan)

Papalii is another modern day wonder with a huge engine, raw power, late footwork, pace and handling skills. Is in the prime of his career and should be the first prop picked for Australia.

 

Petero Civoniceva (Redcliffe)

Ironman front rower who churned away, churned away and then churned away some more. You could not stop him with an elephant gun. As tough as anyone yet like Papalii, Beetson and co, a gentle giant off the field.

Vote on your props

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HOOKERS

 

Steve Walters.
Steve Walters.

 

Cameron Smith. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
Cameron Smith. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Country:

Steve Walters (Ipswich)

Former Australian coach, the immortal Bob Fulton, once said Walters was the greatest hooker he saw - until Cameron Smith came along. The complete dummy half. True great.

 

City

Cameron Smith (Logan)

An immortal in-waiting. Smith would sit alongside Wally Lewis as the most complete player to don a Maroon jersey. A remarkable champion whom we have been fortunate to witness.

Vote on the hookers

View Results

 

RESRVES

Country

Dane Gagai (Mackay)

Almost pushed his way into the starting side. Has the rare distinction of winning an Origin man of the match award from the wing. Rises to the occasion for Queensland on Origin night.

Valentine Holmes (Townsville)

Like Gagai, Holmes was seriously considered for a starting position. By the time his career finishes, he may well be the first winger chosen in Queensland's all-time team.

 

Anthony Watmough tackle on Nate Myles which was put on report..Picture Gregg Porteous
Anthony Watmough tackle on Nate Myles which was put on report..Picture Gregg Porteous

Nate Myles (Cairns)

Again, strongly considered for either lock, second row or prop. Great Origin forward.

Matt Scott (Ilfracombe)

The prop positions were hotly contested. Scott was the best prop in the world at his peak.

Martin Bella (Mackay)

Like Gagai, saved his best football for Queensland. Would run through a brick wall on Origin night for the Maroons.

Steve Price (Toowoomba)

Steady Steve was a throw back to the old front row days of head gear, ankle boots and pigskin balls. Old fashioned toiler who toiled and toiled and toiled. His place could have gone to 20 other players, but he deserves selection.

 

CITY

Tony Currie (Wests Panthers)

Was a serious contender for one of the wings or centre positions. Absolute gun with uncanny attacking anticipation. Lethal.

 

Second half skirmish during State of Origin match at Lang Park 1988, with Tony Currie left, looking on. Wally Lewis, centre, has a NSW player.
Second half skirmish during State of Origin match at Lang Park 1988, with Tony Currie left, looking on. Wally Lewis, centre, has a NSW player.

Cooper Cronk (Souths Acacia)

It shows the extraordinary depth of the City squad when Cronk is on the bench. Legendary playmaker and game manager.

Corey Parker (Logan)

Transformed himself from a hard working iron man into an off-loading attacking weapon. Close to the starting side.

 

Corey Parker on the move for Maroons. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Corey Parker on the move for Maroons. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Jason Smith (Souths Woodridge)

Darren Lockyer once named Smith, Darren's brother, in his top 20 Queenslanders because of his amazing skill. Smith had skills you could not teach. Ideal lock or five-eight.

Paul Vautin (Wests Mitchelton)

Remarkable workhorse who just kept working in the days when there was no interchange. Heart the size of Phar Lap. A typical Queensland forward from the Wally Lewis' era when they held the fort against bigger name rivals, and often bigger bodied rivals as well.

Kalyn Ponga (Churchie, East Brisbane)

Such is his skill level, he could be better than both Slater or Belcher. Regardless, just has to play to his ability to have a long and distinguished career.

Originally published as Qld Country v City Origin: Vote on who'd win?



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